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Royal hoax call: Nurse blamed DJs for death in suicide note

December 16, 2012 20:04 IST

An Indian-origin nurse, who was found dead after a hoax call to a United Kingdom hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife Kate, left a note blaming the two Australian DJs behind the prank for her tragic death.

In one of the three apparent suicide notes left by 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse expressed her deep anger at Australian radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian and blamed them for her death, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday, quoting sources close to her family.

Jacintha, a mum-of-two, was found hanging with a scarf at her staff accommodation at the King Edward VII's Hospital in London, where 30-year-old Kate was being treated for severe morning sickness.

Within an hour of the hoax call, one of the DJs telephoned the hospital back and spoke to Jacintha again, telling her they had played a prank which they were about to broadcast, the report said. The revelation is believed to have left Jacintha, who had no experience of dealing with the media, feeling confused and agitated, it said.

The DJs, who are believed to be at safe-houses following death threats, have apologised for the tragic repercussions of their prank.

The paper reported that in another note, Jacintha had criticised "aspects of the hospital staff," and singled out two individuals for blame.

Although the hospital has insisted that no senior member of staff blamed Jacintha for falling victim to the prank and provided her with support, it is understood she may have been reprimanded by colleagues by email, it said.

The hospital has declined to comment on the notes, saying senior staff have not seen their copies. It is believed the original notes are now in the possession of Scotland Yard, which has produced transcripts for the family.

Sources close to the family said their relationship with the hospital was strained as senior managers had not provided the facts they had requested for.

Another friend of the family was quoted as saying that Jacintha may have tried to commit suicide more than once in the 72 hours between the prank and the moment her body was discovered by a colleague.

"She may have tried to kill herself more than once – that's why there are three notes," the friend told the paper.

In her final letter, Jacintha is believed to have asked to be buried in her home village of Shirwa, near Mangalore.

Relatives of Jacintha have spoken of their utter despair at her death and hit out at false internet speculation over the state of her marriage.

Mabel, Jacintha's eldest sister, told the daily from Mangalore that although her sister used to stay in the nurses' accommodation while on duty at the King Edward VII's Hospital in Marylebone, she always kept in close touch with her husband and two teenage children -- a son and a daughter -- at their home in Bristol.

"She would keep busy with her work, but she only stayed there for convenience and she called them all the time," Mabel said.

Mabel said the family had been so terrified of breaking the news to their frail 70-year-old mother Carmine, who has a heart condition, that they decided to  tell her only that Jacintha had been taken ill and had then died peacefully.

"It was very difficult to break the news. She couldn't take it. She was in shock and was just staring at us and then she started crying. Even today she is crying continuously," she said.

Mabel said their younger sister, 44-year-old Gladys, a beautician, was also "totally broken" by the news.

Jacintha stood by Gladys after her husband died and even agreed to adopt her daughter Lisha, now 14, and brought her up as her own to ease the burden on her sister, who was financially weak, she said.

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